Education for differentiated role development for NP and CNS practice: One nursing program's approach

Karen A. Plager, Margaret M. Conger, Carol Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Development of nurse care providers who best meet the public's health care needs is imperative. Some nurses believe the functions of nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists should be combined. However, the experience of the authors' nursing program argues otherwise. Two graduate nursing tracks, family nurse practitioner and rural health specialist, were developed to meet the health care needs of rural populations. Although the two tracks share expected competencies and areas of expertise to some extent, differences in practice are apparent in identified domains of practice and terminal competencies. Family nurse practitioner practice focuses on assessment, diagnosis, and management of health and illness conditions of individuals and families across the life span. Clinical nurse specialist practice incorporates traditional roles of client assessment, monitoring and coordination of care, outcome assessment, and client, family, and community education, with a new focus on case management strategies. These differences are important to care delivery in the managed care era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-415
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nursing Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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